As a result of the research undertaken in the NANOFORCELLS project (ERC-StG-2011-278860), we have successfully developed instrumentation for the investigation of cell mechanics to discriminate cancer cells from healthy cells by novel physical biomarkers, placing a particular emphasis in the elasticity and viscoelasticity of the cells. In order to accelerate the market entry of the results, the present project will focus on conducting a market feasibility study of the nanomechanical flow cytometer developed, as well as clarifying the IP position strategy and making an initial approach to potential partners and investors. The nanomechanical device to be taken to proof-of-concept, provides label-free classification of cells attending to their volume, mass, density and viscoelasticity. The device is capable of enabling parallel measurements of physical properties of hundreds of individual cells per minute, opening the route for portable tests that would enable determining the health status of cells from blood samples (f.e. leukaemia) based on their mechanical properties. This device will become an ideal tool for the study of drug effects on the physical properties of the cell with research and prognostic value, once made commercially available. The expected outcomes of the PoC project will be an increased understanding of the target markets and the definition of a commercialization roadmap to exploit the device. We envision that research groups within this biomedical field would be a first target market for the product use. The work undertaken so far requires further investment in order to bring the laboratory device to a marketable device and turn the outputs of the NANOFORCELLS project into a commercial proposition.
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